Me vs. Qwest: Final Victory Is Mine

Holy friggin’ list of Kens!

It looks like it does, in fact, pay to complain. You might recall from my previous posts that I had some difficulty dealing with Qwest. Cue up a recap: I had Qwest for both landline and cell phone, I was moving, and contacted Qwest to disconnect my landline and port that phone number to my cell phone. Seems simple enough, right? But Qwest insists that it’s a very complicated procedure… and my battles with an endless series of phone droids showed me just how seriously Qwest takes that point of view.

It can’t be that hard, because if I walk up to a kiosk in any shopping mall in the US, and order a phone, I walk away from that kiosk with a working cell phone. What did the minimum-wage kiosk-dweller do? Why, they check a credit history, and then assign a phone number from a pool of available numbers to a specific phone. There is not an iota of difference, from a purely technical standpoint, from what I asked Qwest to do. Move a phone number that I had in my own name to a phone that I had in my name.

I won’t re-hash the whole fight, but after dealing with at least 10 different people, and having a time frame further and further in the future quoted to me as to when the port would take place, and going weeks without phone service at all, I complained. I filed formal complaints with the State of Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Fraud Division, the State of Oregon Public Utility Commission, and the Better Business Bureau in Denver (which covers the nest of thieves that infests Denver, a.k.a. Qwest HQ). After the Oregon PUC informed me that they didn’t address porting issues, I filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, which does.

At the time I also informed the most recent Qwest phone monkey that I would require any further promises they made to me to be in writing, as I could no longer trust them to tell me the truth. I told them that if I did not hear from them, in writing, within 48 hours that I would consider Qwest to have terminated their business relationship with me. I didn’t hear from them in my specified timeframe, and dropped off at a T-Mobile kiosk to get a new cell phone. Within 10 minutes of stepping up, I had a working cell phone again! Joy!

A couple of weeks ago I received a letter from the Oregon AG’s office telling me that they had contacted Qwest and to expect a formal response from them. A week after that, I got a series of voice mails from yet another Qwest employee asking for more information (they were calling me on my work phone). I didn’t return the calls. Last Friday I picked up my ringing work phone to find yet another Qwest employee on the other end of the call. Nearly unable to contain my anger, I informed her that I had another phone number, that since I hadn’t heard back from Qwest I considered our business relationship to be over, and that they could do what they wanted but I figured they applied the credit that one of their previous monkeys had offerred me to my bill and zeroed it out.

Well, I received a letter from the Oregon AG’s office, signed by a Ms. Papke, Enforcement Officer, saying that they had heard from Qwest and considered the matter closed. A copy of Qwest’s response was included, signed by Suzzy Reeves, Executive Regulatory Escalations Analyst for Qwest, saying that my accounts have been “adjusted to a zero balance… Mr. Moon will not owe Qwest any money on the accounts involved in the port.”

Sweet, sweet vindication. I am victorious!